|What is a Finding Aid?|
A finding aid is text written by the archivist to describe and explain a collection to researchers. The archivist:
- describes the collection in terms of length
- provides background information about the creator of the collection
- places the material in historical context along with the dates and time span of when the contents were created
- lists the types of materials, significant people, places and organizations in the collection
- explains how the collection was acquired and the name(s) of the donor(s)
- describes the physical condition of the collection, if this affects access and any restrictions placed upon the collection, either by the donor or physical condition.
At the end of the finding aid, there will be a container list. Generally, this is a list by box of the folders with a description of their contents.
The arrangement of the contents of a finding aid can vary depending upon the templates and styles of different archives.